THE BRIDGEWATER DINER—Bridgewater, NJ—by Justin Mank

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Bridgewater Diner in Bridgewater New Jersey is my go to diner. It used to be called Felix No. 9 but sometimes a new owner will buy an establishment and totally fuck up the name. The place sits in an extremely dangerous location in the middle of a highway, Rt. 22. That’s one of those highways with lights where everybody speeds like it’s an interstate. You could totally get killed going to this diner. They make a serious pork roll sandwich on a hard roll. Some people don’t know what pork roll is because you can only get it in New Jersey, but it’s basically fake ham that is better than ham. It’s what spam would be if it didn’t suck ass. When I was broke I used to get two eggs scrambled and a water, you get home fries and toast with that. I call that the poor man’s special. I still get it a lot even though I’m not as broke, but now I add pork roll to it.

When I lost my mind in 2008, I sort of found it again hanging out with good friends at this place. We used to overstay our welcome and then loiter outside for a while smoking cigarettes. Sometimes cops would show up to get food, but they never accused us of loitering or anything. You’re sort of allowed to do that stuff at a diner. One of my friends used to hit on a lot of waitresses at this place. We used to laugh about it after a while because the guy just loved waitresses. It never got weird though, like where the managers were telling us to get out. I don’t want to imply that he was being a creep either. This guy is always a gentleman. Sad thing is I haven’t been there so much lately, life can get hectic. it’s a great diner because they’ll split a check twelve ways without us having to threaten the manager.. That’s important to me.

Justin Mank is the author of The Hammer Headed Shark. He lives in New Jersey. 

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